The goal of Integrated Science Education Outreach (InSciEd Out) is achieving excellence in science education.
The national voice of science education reform calls for scientist-teacher partnerships to achieve improvements in student learning. Integrated Science Education Outreach (InSciEd Out) is a collaboration formed between Mayo Clinic, Winona State University, and Rochester Public Schools (MN) with the shared vision of achieving excellence in science education in public schools. InSciEd Out employs novel methods to enrich teacher and student understanding, with a strong emphasis on the Nature of Science. Teachers from all disciplines in a single school are brought in to Mayo Clinic to experience cutting edge science as well as current pedagogical methods. During this internship, the teachers produce new curriculum that directly addresses opportunities for improvement at their own school.
Following one summer of intervention by the InSciEd Out program and deployment within the classroom during the subsequent school year, metrics of student engagement and learning at Lincoln K-8 Choice School indicate substantial improvement in student science proficiency. Grade 8 students graduating from the partner school increased selection of an optional demanding science curriculum in high school from ~40% to over 80%. Grade 6-8 science fair participation increased eight-fold to over 80% over two years. Standardized testing in the 5th and 8th grades showed 14% and 33% improvement in science proficiency, respectively. Furthermore, over half of the 8th graders achieved “Exceeds Expectations” in state science standards, making this the only school in MN where science excellence is now the norm.
In one year, 130 teachers at three public schools have partnered with InSciEd Out, reaching 2000 students with new science curriculum. These metrics indicate that cooperation between educators and scientists can result in dramatic and pervasive change in student science proficiency and demonstrate that a higher expectation in science education can be achieved in US public schools.